27/08/2013 at 8:52 pm #1257
I own a Fishing Tour Operators License (FTOL) for the Pilbara/Kimberley region that was used for a small fishing charter business we used to run out of McGowan Island Camping Ground in Napier Broom Bay in 2010.
I get regular e-News updates from WA Department of Fisheries relating to charter industry matters. A recent update was specific to the Camden Sound Marine Park, which will be legislated in coming months. The WA Dept of Environment and Conservation (DEC) and Fisheries are well into the planning and administration setup for the park.
The attached E-Newsletter http://kccyc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Camden-Sound-Marine-Park-E-News-CHARTER-Issue-2.pdf is worth reading by all private boats owners heading to the Kimberley Coast. Not only does it provide interesting reading about the proposed marine park, it has content about Catching and Consuming Fish at Sea (which is technically illegal under current WA law), and an article about what is expected if Fisheries want to board a vessel at sea. The article is related mainly to fishing charter vessels, but Fisheries inspectors also board and inspect private vessels in the Kimberley waters to check bag limits, fishing licenses, skippers tickets and safety equipment requirements.
When the new parks are started, there will be a much high presence of Fisheries and DEC patrol vessels and Rangers around the Kimberley Coast.
I will post, under this topic, future DEC and Fisheries e-Newsletters relating to the Kimberley Coast when I receive them.
28/11/2013 at 5:21 pm #1311
Click this link http://kccyc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Camden-Sound-Marine-Park-E-News-CHARTER-Issue-3.pdf for a copy of the latest update newsletter from West Australian Fisheries and Dept of Wildlife on the Camden Sound Marine Park, which had now been renamed Lalang-garram/Camden Sound Marine Park
This attached newsletter is aimed at the charter operators cruising and fishing in Kimberley waters, but the rules are the same for private cruising vessels.
I note that they have softened their rules related to whale watching and interaction. It has changed to vessels not approaching a mother and calf closer than 500 meters, and if the whales close on the vessel, the vessel must remain in neutral. Previously, the proposed rule was that vessels had to move away and maintain minimum 500 meters from the whales if the whales approached the vessel. The new rule also makes specific mention of the whales being a mother and calf. This leaves it a little unclear as to whether or not you can approach a single adult whale up to 100 meters (as the rules currently allow).
There are hundreds of Humpback Whales, including mothers and calves, scattered throughout Kimberley waters from about July through to October; they don’t just stay in the proposed new marine park. This begs the question. Do the same rules apply outside the park, or can these whales be approached up to 100 meters? Lets hope the 100 meter rule stays for whales outside the park, because from my experience, looking at a whale from half a kilometer way is a waste of time.
The photo below would have been almost impossible to shoot from over 500 meters away.
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